Important milestone for NextGen District
Circular hotspot in the port of Antwerp
The NextGen District is an industrial site of 88 acres where ‘end-of-life products’ will be given a second or third life, where circular carbon solutions will be researched and where experiments will be conducted with renewable energy. It is located on land previously used by General Motors, close to the world’s largest chemical cluster in the port of Antwerp. Preparations for the site are ongoing and it is expected that the first companies will be active by 2023.
In the NextGen District Antwerp-based start-up Triple Helix will build a factory that converts polyurethane foam from old matrasses, insulation panels, car seats and similar items. This factory will be able to process 30.000 tonnes of waste and is designed to be fully circular and self-sufficient in terms of energy supply. Its future ambition is to introduce the finetuned technology in the form of licensing or private investments.
American multinational Bolder Industries will invest 40.000.000 euro in a factory that will process worn car tyres and extract chemicals to produce carbon black and pyrolysis oil. This oil will be used by petrochemical installations in the Port of Antwerp to produce new tyres and other rubber goods or plastics. A partner of Bolder Industries is outdoor clothing line Patagonia that currently uses the end product to make wetsuits.
Both projects will start in 2023-2024, after the necessary permits are obtained. The total investment value of the two companies is approximately 100 million euro. This is an important milestone in Antwerp’s transition to a climate-neutral society.